Hong Kong will have to spend more money to pay for the bridge that connects the city to Zhuhai and Macau as the cost of construction of the main deck has exceeded the budgeted amount, the Secretary for Transport said on Thursday, quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Anthony Cheung Bing-leung did not say how much more the real cost was compared to the budgeted cost, but the three governments – Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai – will have to come up with more money in proportion to their participation in the project.
The cost of construction of the main deck reached 15.730 billion yuan (17.74 billion Hong Kong dollars or 17.83 billion patacas) and Hong Kong contributed 43% or 6.75 billion yuan.
The Secretary for Transport said during a visit to border facilities that the final cost of the bridge will be higher than estimated because “of some challenges related to construction and the workforce.”
Cheung Bing-leung he did not yet have hard figures but added that a working group consisting of the three governments had already started assessing the rise in costs.
When the project was launched in 2009, the financial package included two components – cash contributions from the three governments and a loan in the amount of 22 billion yuan taken on from a bank syndicate.
This loan would be repaid with revenues from tolls for crossing the bridge. The bridge will have three lanes in each direction and its 2018 launch date has yet to be scheduled. (macauhub)